Tag Archives: maine photojournalism

Freezing photographers: How we deal with winter

If you work as a photographer in Maine, for at least 5 months out of the year you’re going to be working in the cold. Once nature’s air conditioner comes on there’s a lot to think about before heading outside.

First there’s our comfort.

We’re constantly going from a 70 degree building to sub zero temperatures, then into a chilly car, then back out into freezing temps. I often don a pair of long johns, wear a bunch of layers and stuff heat packs into my socks before heading in to work. You can immediately single out the photographers in the newsroom because our hair is usually a mess from wearing a beanie, snot is hanging from our nose and our hiking boots usually leave a messy melted snow trail right to our desk.  Suits aren’t our thing and we pretty much look ragged all winter long.

Then there’s the gear.

Taking expensive electronics from cold to warm is never a good thing. If your gear is less than watertight, condensation will form inside, especially in lenses and camera bodies.  That can wreak havoc on the electronics inside. Not only that, but I’ve known several photographers to drop equipment into snowbanks while fumbling around with their gloves. Usually the gear is never seen again and the only hope is that a winter thaw will come sooner than expected.

Finally, lets not forget about the assignments.

Our readers love weather stories. I mean, who doesn’t? Unfortunately, that’s to the photographers’ detriment, because believe it or not, someone needs to actually go out in that 2-foot snow storm or on that -13 degree day, like today, to take photos. The photos are not taken from a car and we don’t have a robot or a drone. Instead we have shivering photographers trying to be artful in a New England “tundra” who love nothing more than having their photos on a news site or in print delivered straight to you and your warm and comfortable office desk, living room or kitchen table.

Above is a selection of images from the BDN photo staff’s encounters with the cold.